The Ursinus College Dance Company fall concert will be held Nov.15 through 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center’s Lenfest Theater. Dance faculty member Jeanine McCain is the producer and the artistic director. A talkback with chroeographers is set for after Thursday’s show.
The concert, titled Set (in) Motion, includes work from choreographers Karen Clemente, Ursinus faculty in modern dance; guest artist Krista DeNio; Hip Hop/fusion artist and adjunct faculty Duane Lee Holland Jr.; Jeanine McCain, Ursinus faculty in contemporary/modern dance; and guest artist Christine Rohde. The choreographers worked with the theme of “transitions” to reflect two new dance faculty, and to explore transitions in their own lives.
Clemente’s piece, Journey, is in three sections, each dealing with themes of gathering, preparing and leaving. “The dance is about the ancient and contemporary practice of journeying,” she says. Ten dancers move their way through the dance, at times in a unison of discovery, and at times making individual choices about what is to come, forcing the group to deal with an urgency about the transitions at hand.
DeNio creates interdisciplinary work based in dance and theater. She has worked across the country and is currently the executive and artistic director of Earthdance in Massachusetts. She spent an intensive five days creating a collaborative performance piece with Ursinus students. The piece, Trans*i*tion: STATE of flux, explores how we experience transition through our bodies, voices, and personal plus global perspectives. The performance includes original movement and text created by the student performers, with additional choreography and direction by DeNio.
Holland, based in Philadelphia, teaches Hip Hop at Ursinus. His piece, Silent Synergy, explores what is common among human beings underneath a surface that may appear to be different. The piece investigates this theme through the fusion of Hip Hop with other dance forms, as the dancers transition between resisting and falling into a natural rhythm together.
McCain’s piece, The Big Picture, is about the process of finding the courage to take a big leap. Ten dancers move through images of what it means to dream, to have a sense of “home,” to feel internal and external pressures, to get lost in the sense of anticipation, to be paralyzed with the fear of change, and to discover what it takes to find their own voice of expression, she explains. “In solitude and in community, this piece is about the moments ‘in between,’ when we are looking back on what came before, while finding the courage to take the step into what is to come,” according to McCain. This piece includes dream-like video projections of the dancers and “floating frames” on the stage that define the boundaries of memory and our possibility.
Rohde is a professional choreographer, performer and educator whose work has been presented nationally and internationally. Based in Denver, Rohde has worked professionally in Chicago. She worked with Ursinus dance students to set a contemporary jazz dance piece, Reawakening, which features 13 women in a two-section piece about the perpetual cycle of change and the idea that all change is a journey of self-discovery.